How to Choose the Right Laptop

September 2016

How to choose the right laptop?

The notebook market is very lively, new elements are frequent and performance are increasing while prices, weight and size decreases.

Key points to choose



If you do not really need mobility, that is to say, you are not moving constantly with your machine, you will not be working in unlikely places, there is no need to buy a small laptop. Choose a somewhat larger model, but with a large screen (17 "or 18"), a separate numeric keypad and a large battery then is a good choice in terms of comfort.


Your computer must be able to follow you around but you need a minimum of comfort. A 15.4 "enough and is not so cumbersome. The weight is reasonable and comfortable keyboard.

Mini Portable

Mobile mini computers are very small. Miniaturization, better still, components used to manufacture high-performance computers in less than 1 kg offering all the functionality expected of a PC. You can store these machines in a small bag and use it anywhere. Interesting for a great need for mobility, frequent travel or work anywhere.

Technical Specifications


The CPU is the heart of the computer. The performance of a machine are greatly conditioned by the CPU performance. The more you want to run many software and powerful applications using different media more we will need a powerful processor (frequency> 2.4Ghz). However, for desktop or Internet use, you can afford to choose a mid-range processor (frequency = 2Ghz). They are powerful enough to effect a smooth computer use.

Live Active Memory

Also called RAM, this memory temporarily stores data during processing by the processor. The higher the RAM capacity is more important the processor will have quick access to the data it needs to process. 1 GB of RAM seems to be now a large minimum. Microsoft even recommends 2GB for Vista to use effectively. Most laptops have now come with 4GB of RAM. For portable mini i512MB is sufficient since we do not use too demanding applications.

Storage Space

Laptops today show hard drives with up to 500GB capacity which is okay. This is important and it should before considered before buying to determine the storage space that will be needed. But size is not everything and you have to take into account the speed of access to stored data. A hard drive spinning at 7200 revolutions / minute will be more powerful than a 5400 rev / min. Some computers now offer a flash and SDRAM memory. Unlike the hard drive, this storage method only uses no mechanical element and is therefore less fragile. However, it is more expensive, does not yet offer a very large space (up to 16GB so) and would have a limited service life.

Graphics Card

This is key element, if you play video games or 3D animation they are very greedy in this matter. Do not hesitate to take a good graphics card because they become obsolete relatively quickly. It is therefore recommended that a card with 512 MB of video RAM, combined with a sufficiently powerful graphics processor.

Otherwise, it may be interesting to have a TV out on his laptop but the high performance of the graphics card will not necessarily be needed. Moreover, the mini laptop and some entry-level models offer just a graphics chipset (integrated chip on the motherboard), enough for office or the Internet.


Try to consider all uses that one is likely to make his machine and see what will be needed in connection. Firewire particular is increasingly used for its performance (much faster than the USB data exchange). Also, do not skimp on USB ports, always helpful (though remember to check they are sufficiently spaced to accommodate multiple devices). To watch on TV, so be sure to check the HDMI connection. Multifunction card reader is also sometimes useful for transferring data from your photo camera or mobile phone.



There are mobile with screens ranging from 7 to 20 inches. The size of the screen depends on the use you want to make your machine. A large screen will pleasantly watch movies, work or play comfortably. In contrast, the size will be larger and the weight. Instead a small screen from 12 inches and under provides a handy machine to carry around.


As with the pictures on paper you must choose between mat or gloss. The brilliant promotes watching videos close to a TV output. The mat it is certainly less enjoyable to watch but is less sensitive to glare. Again, the choice depends on your usage.


It is 2 to 8 hours in office use. This is a key point in the choice of a laptop. It is good to know that more powerful battery the heavier it is. This must be taken into consideration if you need to transport your laptop anywhere. We can therefore play on the quality of the battery but also on consumption. There are now low-power processors that allow machines to operate much longer in total autonomy. Look at manufacturers data (keep in mind that they are often a little optimistic).

Operating System

This is certainly the most important. If everyone vows by Microsoft OS, more and more low cost laptops put out Linux in order to save on Windows licenses. The Linux system is fairly simple to use but should still you must allow time to adapt to it if it is your first trip outside Microsoft. Similarly, not all applications are compatible with Linux, although there are equivalents.

Noise and Heat

We often forget these parameters when choosing a laptop. Still in use, they often prove dominant in terms of comfort. Computers heat and must be vented to cool. Sometimes ventilation can be very noisy. Similarly, it happens that some machines run hotter than others. Checking for these settings before the purchase is often difficult, especially if you order online. Nevertheless, one can say that the more in quality you are reaching for the less these issues are important.


Depending on your level of computer experience, it may be interesting or not to sign a contract to provide an on-site warranty repair or telephone support. In general, you can not change any parts on a laptop, taking a long term warranty seems logical. Unless you often change to be always on top.


Of course, you would like to do the same with your laptop as you do with your desktop PC: replace some old components with more efficient ones. While it is easy to add memory, it will not always be easy to change the hard drive, only some mobile will allow to change the processor, let alone have an interchangeable graphics card, so you must choose at the time of purchase ... There are specialty shops who will change the processor or graphics card if possible.

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